Quoting iamdani:" You girls are absolutely amazing! Thank you so much! 1.Can you please describe your teaching style? ... [snip!] ... to offer a better perspective on your experience as a teacher? 15. Grade you teach and how long you have been teaching for?"
1.Can you please describe your teaching style?
This is a hard question. I've been told I'm very personable, and I think that holds true. I try to develop a relationship with each of my students. Children don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
2.What is the greatest challenge for you as a teacher?
Discipline, and I think every teacher can agree with me on this. It's always important to be fair, but it's also important to realize that some children simply do not react to discipline, and others completely shut down when they face a punishment. I'm constantly trying to balance what is "fair", and what I know works with an individual student.
3.How do you address this challenge?
Trial and error. If something doesn't work, I try something else.
4.What has been your greatest success as a teacher?
I don't know if there has been one great success. Instead, I think I've experienced many mini-successes; watching my kids learn and grow is what I consider success.
5.What factors contributed to this success?
I think my overall willingness to self reflect. I'm forever asking myself how I can be better.
6.What are the types of resources and support you are given in the classroom?
My school is currently under construction, so we are unfortunately a little lacking on technology. I have support from my fellow 5th grade teachers; we share lesson plans and ideas and go over the curriculum together once a week.
7. In what areas would you like more resources and support?
Well, I would love a teaching assistant!
8. What impact do you believe these additional resources and added support would have on your teaching and on studentsí learning?
Many people don't believe intermediate classrooms need assistants, but I think my kids would greatly benefit from having one. If I had a TA, I could utilize him/her in small groups with students who are needing a little extra help. Another adult in the room would help the overall flow of things... no more putting the class on hold because we're one copy short!
9.What effect has the No Child Left Behind Act had on your teaching and your studentsí learning? Provide both a positive and a negative example to describe the effect you think it has on classroom life.
I have very mixed feelings on NCLB. I understand that teachers need to be held accountable for their students, but I don't think the solution is pink-slipping them. I think the solution is more training, more professional development, and more support from administrators. I also disagree with cutting fundings to schools who do not meet their testing goals; those are the schools who need MORE funding and MORE support!
10. In what area have you improved as a teacher over the course of your career?
Creating lessons that actively engage the students.
11. In what area would you like to gain more expertise or develop more skills?
Differentiating instruction; students come in at all different levels, and it is difficult meeting them at some common ground.
12. How do you think gaining this expertise or developing this skill would benefit your studentsí learning?
I could more accurately record progress or regression.
13. How might research in educational psychology, such as theories about how children learn or how the brain functions, influence your approach to teaching?
I actually studied child psychology for a year and I think that has helped me be more understanding of why kids do what they do. Children need choices- no one likes to be told what to do "just because." It needs to make sense to the child; the same goes for punishment. I strongly believe in logical consequences. Children need to correlate misbehavior to punishment; pulling a ticket for spitting on someone doesn't teach the child that spitting is wrong. Writing a letter of apology would be both educational and logical.
14. Would you like to add anything to offer a better perspective on your experience as a teacher?
It is a hard job... but the most rewarding job I can imagine.
15. Grade you teach and how long you have been teaching for?
5th grade - 1 yr. Previous experience in 3rd grade - 1 yr.
Hope this helps! Can I read your essay when you're done?